Nijinsky, 1909

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Appendix C
Vaslav Nijinsky

We find more about Nijinskyís artistic skill in his 7th chart. B venus rules his B Asc, and is at 28 Capricorn 30 conjunct c SN at 28 Capricorn 25 in b and c 3rd houses. B7 venus also rules B Asc. At 16 Capricorn 26 it is conjunct c7 mercury at 13 Capricorn 39, c7 SN at 15 Capricorn 47, and b SN at 15 Capricorn 50, all in b and c 3rd houses. These give him lighted venus influence to 3rds (showing interests and abilities) and an Angle (bringing the set forefront, or active), all being in Capricorn, sign of craftsmanship and mastery.

Even his 3rd chart has venusian emphasis. He has B Asc at 18 Libra 21, c moon at 19 Libra 17, b3 venus at 22 Capricorn 28, and c3 South Node at 22 Capricorn 06. The Capricorn planets are in his b 3rd house.

The following excerpts are from his wifeís biography. They describe some of Nijinsky's truly remarkable abilities.

(Mrs. Nijinsky is here describing seeing him for the first time in Carnaval)...Suddenly a slim, lithe, cat-like Harlequin took the stage. Although his face was hidden by a painted mask, the expression and beauty of his body made us all realize that we were in the presence of genius. An electric shock passed through the entire audience. Intoxicated, entranced, gasping for breath, we followed this superhuman being, the very spirit of Harlequin incarnate; mischievous, lovable. The power, the featherweight lightness, the steel-like strength, the suppleness of his movements, the incredible gift of rising and remaining in the air and descending in twice as slow a time as it took to rise--the execution of the most difficult pirouettes and tours en líair with an amazing nonchalance and apparently no effort whatever, proved that this extraordinary phenomenon was the very soul of dance. With complete abandon the audience rose to its feet as one man, shouted, wept, showered the stage with flowers, gloves, fans, programmes, pÍle-mÍle in their wild enthusiasm. This magnificent vision was Nijinsky(emphasis hers).
(Another starts) A young girl returning from her first ball leans against the French window of her room and dreamingly recalls all the pleasant impressions of the evening. She thinks of her ideal, and slowly kisses the rose he gave her, which she is wearing on her bodice. Intoxicated by the spring air, the scent of the rose, she falls asleep on a nearby chair. ...Suddenly the soul of a rose, an intangible, dreamlike apparition, emerges from the moonlit window, in a single leap behind the dreaming girl, as if blown by a soft caressing wind. Is it the scent of the rose, or the echo of a promising love? We do not know. A slender, sexless being, ethereal, soft, enfolding, stands before us. Not a flower, not a human being. Both. You cannot tell whether it is a flower or a maiden, a dream, or a wish, something unobtainable--something we can only sense. Slender and beautiful, like an unfolding rose, the warm smoothness of the velvety purple petals, sensuous and pure at the same time. With infinite tenderness a full moment it stands at the sill of the window. Le Spectre de la Rose. Then in its glorious lightness it whirls through space. It is not dancing, nor yet a dream. We feel everything pure, lovely, beautiful. Here reality and vision meet. (pp 4-5)
With one single leap he crosses the entire stage, bringing us the fulfillment of our dreams; the scent of a blossoming garden on a June night, moonlight, mysterious but so infinitely restful. There he is floating, floating enchantingly. Suddenly he stands behind the girl and awakens her to a dazed semi-conscious state, where she finds her wishes, her dreams, her love itself, in beauty. He carries her through the ether, enchanting, caressing, loving, offering her with a chaste gesture the essence of love, and revives in her all the happy moments of her inmost feelings at her first ball, and when she glides softly into the chair, falls at her feet to prove its tender submission. Then, with one incredibly light leap, he rises high in the air and once more dances around her, re-echoing the beauty in its supreme conception. The girl, soft, trusting, slumbers, but the spirit of the rose can only be held for one second against our heart. After conquering the space in which he floats he is again behind the girl as at the beginning. With one soft kiss he gives her a part of the unattainable and then forever leaps into the infinite.
That was Le Spectre de la Rose that Nijinsky gave to us: the romantic poem of Gautier, the perfect classical pas de deux of Fokine, with the soul breathed into it by Nijinsky. This charming variation, this lovely Biedermeier picture of Bakstís became a very prayer. As Vaslav was told, Le Spectre de la Rose made one want to cry from bliss....We knew that we had not only witnessed an artistic performance, but the communion of an initiate with divinity (pp. 112-113).
(One more.) At this time, Vaslav was composing the Mephisto Valse. It caught the romantic, the languorous Slavic chord of his soul, and showed how romanticism could be expressed with strength, virility, exuberance.258)....Vaslav danced for me the forty-five dances in his simple practice costume. He rendered the characters of the old fat landlord, the lecherous rich merchant, the awkward heavy fiancť, the servant, Mephisto, Faust, the guests, the girls. I forgot that it was one person dancing and not a whole troupe. And he danced, with infinite lightness and brilliancy, the part of the maiden. Never, never, have I seen among all the great prima ballerinas anybody so tender, so maidenly, and so matchlessly equal on their toes. (p. 259)

These descriptions come from his wife. She might have been prejudiced in his favor. Nijinsky, however, had such a powerful effect on his audiences her descriptions appear closer to truth than flattery.

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